Bruins must get up close and personal

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:33 PM ET

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins might want to put up a picture of Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson in their dressing room today.

You know, just so they know what he looks like.

If the Bruins are going to avoid going down 2-0 in their Eastern Conference final (Game 2 is Tuesday night), they will have to get a lot closer to Roloson than they did in Game 1.

Check this out: Of the 33 shots the Bruins were credited with in Game 1, 23 of them came from 40 feet and out (11 from 40-50 feet and a dozen from 50-plus feet).

The Bruins had only eight shots from inside 30 feet which is pretty much how close you have to get to have a reasonable chance to score. Rookie Tyler Seguin's first goal of the playoffs in his first game came from 21 feet and defenceman Johnny Boychuk, who made it 5-2 late in Game 1, beat Roloson from 23 feet.

So, the Bruins need to be willing to get inside the Bermuda Triangle the Lightning has set up in front of the 41-year-old Roloson and his net.

Much has been made about Tampa Bay's 1-3-1 forecheck, but the fact is the Lightning, like a lot of teams, can give the opposition a lot of different looks.

"Sometimes we use it, sometimes we don't," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "We hate to be predictable."

The Bolts came out with an aggressive forecheck in Game 1 and, as noted in those stats about where the Bruins were getting their shots, did a great job of keeping the Bruins away from Roloson. Well, I thought it was a great job, but Boucher wasn't completely happy with the job his team did.

"I think we were a little rusty the first game," Boucher said. "I know we won, but for us we feel we played a good game. We didn't play a great game. I really didn't like our defensive zone coverage at all. That was one thing that had been really good the last two series. It was just OK, average at best, so we worked on that."

Boucher wrinkled his face.

"We can't give the opponent any moment because they can capitalize and get confidence off it. That's something we want to avoid in the next game for sure. We certainly were far from being great or perfect. We have to be a lot better next game, a lot better."

Boucher has been a revelation as a coach this season, a great motivator. His team played a fine game in Game 1, but he's not letting the players get ahead of themselves here. He's a little over the top in his criticism of them.

The Bolts deserve credit because a lot of Boston's struggles were related to what they were doing. The Bruins had trouble with the Bolts' speed and the Boston power play couldn't even get into the Tampa zone to set up in the face of the aggressive Tampa penalty killers.

When the Bruins did have the puck, they were confronted with every Lightning player flinging a limb in front of pucks, from star Marty St. Louis on down.

The Lightning didn't give the Bruins much in Game 1. The B's will have to be a whole lot better in Game 2 if they are going to get as close to Roloson as they need to in order to win.

Thing is, Boucher is right. As well as the Bolts played in Game 1, they can be better, too.

"We expect Boston to come out and play a flawless game," he said. "So if we're not flawless, forget it."

The Lightning? Better than in Game 1?

Where are the Bruins' shots going to come from in Game 2?

Causeway St.?

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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